How Bearings Work

Have­ you ever wondered how things like inline skate wheels and electric motors spin so smoothly and quietly? The answer can be found in a neat little machine called a bearing.

The bearing makes many of the machines we use every day possible. Without bearings, we would be constantly replacing parts that wore out from friction. In this article, we’ll learn how bearings work, look at some different kinds of bearings and explain their common uses, and explore some other interesting uses of bearings.

The Basics

The concept behind a bearing is very simple: Things roll better than they slide. The wheels on your car are like big bearings. If you had something like skis instead of wheels, your car would be a lot more difficult to push down the road.

That is because when things slide, the friction between them causes a force that tends to slow them down. But if the two surfaces can roll over each other, the friction is greatly reduced. Continue reading at howstuffworks.com

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